Leigh Miller for GlobalAtlanta
Atlanta-based architecture firm Thompson, Ventulett, Stainbeck & Associates Inc. has won an international competition to design the new Nanjing Conference and Exhibition Center in Nanjing, China.

The 3.5 million square-foot facility is to be located in the 6.4 million-person city of Nanjing, the “southern capital of China” east of Shanghai, according to Kevin Gordon, principal with the firm that is also known as TVS Architects.

The first 1 million square-foot phase of the center is expected to be completed for the Urban Land Institute’s World Cities Forum in 2008. The forum is to provide an opportunity for developers, architects, investors, policy makers and cultural and civic leaders to share ideas about the future of the global real estate industry and the planning of cities around the world.

Mr. Gordon, who was in Nanjing for the past two weeks to discuss the details of the project with the Chinese client, Nanjing Hexi New District State-Owned Holding, said a Chinese architectural firm alerted TVS to the competition for the Nanjing center.

Zoomar Inc., based in Suzhou, China, has been a partner with TVS on recent projects in China, including a commercial center they designed for the city, which is located near Shanghai.

Mr. Gordon told GlobalAtlanta in a telephone interview from Nanjing that the Nanjing client voted unanimously for TVS to become the design firm for the project. “Our work in Beijing didn’t hurt either,” he said of the New China International Exposition Center that was also designed by the Atlanta architectural firm’s international branch, TVS International.

The Nanjing center will be larger than the Beijing center, which is expected to be ready in time for the 2008 Olympic Games, Mr. Gordon said.

While the Beijing center has 1 million square feet of exhibit space that is to be doubled in the second phase of construction, the Nanjing center is to have 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space initially and 300,000 square feet of conference space, he said. The project also includes a 500-room hotel, he added.

The Nanjing center is to be comprised of eight 132,396-square-foot buildings arranged along a pedestrian area that includes meeting and registration space.

By comparison, Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center, also designed by TVS, has 1 million square feet of exhibit space and 3 million square feet overall, but it has been expanded four times over 30 years, according to Tom Ventulett, co-founder of TVS.

Nanjing, which in Chinese means “south capital,” was a long-time capital of China and an important city in the collective memory of the Chinese people, so it is appropriate that the country’s largest convention center to date is to be located there, Mr. Gordon said.

Over the past 20 years, TVS has designed projects in Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Puerto Rico and Spain.

The firm is known in Georgia for its design of Atlanta landmarks such as Chastain Amphitheater, Georgia Aquarium, Georgia Dome, Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Institute of Technology’s Technology Square, Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, Woodruff Arts Center, InterContinental Atlanta and more.

Mr. Ventulett and partners established TVS in 1968, and the firm has offices in Atlanta, Chicago and Dubai.

Contact Creel McCormack for more information at (404) 888-6600 or marketing@tvsa.com. Visit www.tvsa.com